Sunday, November 8, 2009

#434: The Cat Concerto (1947)

Directors: Joseph Barbera & William Hanna
Cast: Tom & Jerry


Come one, come all! This is the first of... well, probably not that many more posts to bring classic films to the masses! That's right, folks! This post actually contains the FULL FILM. All seven minutes of it, at your disposal, any time. So please, enjoy the film.

The Cat Concerto is one of the most memorable cartoon shorts to grace the screen. Similar to Fantasia (1940), the short gives a glimpse into what might be seen in the mind of a child listening to classical music. Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody is a perfect piece to serve as the back-drop of the story, being both difficult for Tom to perform as well as a bit comedic in its virtuosity.

I'm unfortunately unable to find any information on who was performing on the recording, but this website claims that the music was not altered to fit the cartoon at all. I find this highly unlikely, and I basically think the author of that site is a moron. But! The animation is undoubtedly remarkable for its time, matching the story as well as Tom's performance flawlessly to the music. It's no wonder this short won an Oscar.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
  • Was the focus of a short and bitter flurry of allegations between Warner Brothers and MGM of plagiarism over similarities between this film and WB's Rhapsody Rabbit(1946). The controversy began when raw film from "Rhapsody Rabbit" was sent to be processed at a central film lab which serviced both Warners and MGM. By accident, the finished negatives were sent to MGM, who eventually returned them, but Friz Freleng (the director on "Rhapsody Rabbit") suspected that Hanna and Barbera or others at MGM may have viewed the film before sending it on to Warner Bros. Hanna and Barbera counter-charged that Freleng had somehow overheard their ideas for "The Cat Concerto" and acted on it.

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